What do garden villages mean for the UK housing sector?

With growing support from the government to increase construction and the building of more than 217,000 new homes in the 2016/17 financial year, it appears that the UK’s construction and housing sectors are enjoying a moment in the sun. Even better, soon, the UK will be home to at least 17 new garden towns and villages.

Garden villages are communities built away from established settlements on brownfield land. Expected by experts to significantly improve the state of the country’s housing industry, we look at what constitutes a garden village and how they will affect the British economy.

Building garden villages: how can this affect current communities?

While, on paper, the construction of more garden villages seems to offer positives for the UK economy and multiple industries, some people have reservations regarding its impact on established settlements — such as nearby cities, towns and villages. However, the growth of garden villages will not necessarily impact negatively on services like schools and medical practices. Garden villages are built with their own facilities, including schools and general practices, so they should instead cause the creation of more jobs and facilities in a district rather than put a strain on current services. Also, these building projects will likely supply Britain with more than 50,000 homes. Consequently, we should witness a rise in manual work and job opportunities in these regions, which will help to drive money to several parts of the UK.

Arguably, one of the greatest impacts on local life could be the strain new garden villages puts on transport. More people living nearby usually means more people on roads and using public transport, which could have a negative effect on locals. However, this could be controlled if the garden village has its own transport links and roads for commuting in and out of the area.

What qualifies as a garden village?

As a housing project, a garden village must meet certain criteria in order to qualify. Firstly, they must be constructed away from a town or city, which means there is a lot of scope for garden villages to create their own identity. Secondly, a garden village consists of 1,500-10,000 houses that are all part of a single, self-contained community, which is often surrounded by a lot of green land. Thirdly, each garden village has a different set up and usually, they have their own schools, shops and transport stations to boost their independence and self-reliance.

More houses for citizens and more jobs for workers sounds like a win-win for the government, which could explain its support for the construction of garden villages. It plans to invest £6 million towards funding these 14 new garden villages, as well as a further £1.4 million to support three garden towns (similar to garden villages, only larger).

How spread out will these new garden villages be?

You might think that these new building projects will be confined to a particular area of the UK, however, it appears that they will be dotted across the country. Expect to see them in: Derbyshire, Cornwall, Merseyside, Cumbria, Lincolnshire, Stratford-on-Avon, Lancaster, Hampshire, Essex, and Devon, among other destinations. Plans are also in place to build garden towns in Taunton, Aylesbury, and Harlow and Gilston, which are expected to provide an extra 200,000 homes.

The gardening industry: boosted by garden villages?

A boost in communal and private gardens and outdoors spaces surely signals growth in the gardening industry, as well as construction and housing. So, what can we expect to see more of as the building of garden villages gets underway?

  • Exterior lighting: such as hanging Chinese lanterns between deck posts to filling jam jars with twinkling LED fairy lights.
  • Artificial grass: to save on the effort of mowing and tending.
  • Hot tubs: as more people will wish to enjoy their private, outdoor spaces.
  • Items for outdoor socialising: a rise in furniture, gazebos, hammocks and technical product, such as composite decking boards, for making gardens useable all year round.

Although there is still building and planning to do, the outcome of more garden villages promises to have positive effects on the UK.

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